McDonald's Ireland case study

McDonalds Board Bia Laois Farm-1


While great strides have been made on several fronts with the McDonald’s brand in Ireland since the late 2000s, plenty of myths about the brand persisted, casting a doubt in the minds of consumers about the quality and provenance of what they were eating when they visited a McDonald’s restaurant – from whether the beef is ‘real’, to just what’s in a Big Mac’s secret sauce! McDonald’s needed to change perceptions and eradicate any doubt in the minds of customers in Ireland and also ensure that corporate audiences and stakeholders viewed McDonald’s as a trusted business.


Drury | Porter Novelli and McDonald’s worked together to create a ‘Trust’ platform as a core feature of its marketing and communications strategy. The platform would consistently communicate core messages to consumers focusing on provenance and high quality of ingredients. From a corporate and stakeholder perspective additional key messages were communicated to reinforce McDonald’s as an employer of 4,000 people; a significant purchaser and exporter of quality Irish produce; a trusted corporate citizen and an investor in Ireland Inc.

McDonald’s Ireland launched a campaign celebrating its use of 100% Bord Bia Quality Assured Irish beef and its support for Irish agriculture. The advertising campaign was a first for McDonald’s in that it featured Co Laois farmer and McDonald’s supplier Liam Delaney, in TV, outdoor and in-store adverts.

Drury | Porter Novelli devised a complementary PR campaign which focused on the extent to which McDonald’s had grown its purchase and export of Irish food produce: McDonald’s grew its exports of Irish produce to €200 million, up €40 million since 2008; McDonald’s uses 40,000 tonnes of Irish beef every year, making it the single biggest purchaser of Irish beef and one in every five hamburgers eaten in McDonald’s restaurants across Europe is made from Irish beef. We also focused on McDonald’s use of quality Irish produce from well known, trusted suppliers including Kerry Foods, Dawn Meats, Flahavan’s and Ballygowan.


McDonald’s Trust Tracker scores, the barometer which is used by the brand internationally to measure customer attitudes jumped by 25% to the highest ever score achieved by McDonald’s Ireland. Awareness of McDonald’s use of top quality beef also jumped by 20%, again highlighting the cut through of our messaging.